The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research indicates that 42% of children aged 2 to 11 suffer from tooth decay. In 2017, the United States Preventive Services Task Force recommended fluoride varnish treatments to dentists and pediatricians for treating the condition.
Fluoride treatments are excellent for preventing tooth decay among children who are between 6 months and 12 years old.
Here’s all you need to know about them.
What Is A Fluoride Varnish Treatment?
A fluoride treatment mainly consists of fluoride varnish, which is a natural tree resin that has concentrated fluoride. The fluoride in the resin base tenaciously adheres to the teeth, promoting extended fluoride-enamel interaction.
Fluoride varnish products contain a suspension of 5% sodium fluoride combined with an alcohol-based extraction of natural varnish substances. The US government approved fluoride varnish treatments in the late 1990s, while European medical practitioners have performed these procedures for over 25 years.
Comprehensive clinical trials have proven the safety and efficacy of fluoride treatments. As a result, the American Dental Association strongly supports and encourages fluoride varnish coatings for kids.
Is Fluoride Varnish Safe?
ADA clinical trials suggest that vanish treatments are 100% safe for children, even for those under the age of 3. Most children require minimal doses of varnish per session. Preschool children are usually administered 0.3 ml of varnish, while dentists use about 0.1 ml of fluoride varnish solution to treat infants who are vulnerable to early childhood dental caries.
Thanks to the firm adherence of the varnish to the teeth, children swallow a minuscule amount of fluoride. This eliminates the risk of nausea, vomiting, or any other reactions among children.
What Is the Application Technique?
Doctors use a rubber cup or toothbrush prophylaxis to paint the fluoride varnish on the teeth, including the top and the sides. The varnish is hydrophobic and is best applied to dry teeth. It is a sticky concoction that hardens as soon as it comes in contact with saliva.
Pediatricians and dentists recommend a soft diet for 12 hours after the treatment. Children must avoid brushing their teeth for 12 hours to allow for contact between the varnish and the enamel.
While the number of fluoride treatment sessions per year depends on how susceptible a child is to cavities, the ADA recommends getting it done 2 to 4 times a year.